Intermittent fasting is a diet strategy that includes switching between eating and fasting regularly.
Since ancients times, it has been utilized and existed as part of the major cultures.
Even today, it is one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends and is performed by many celebrities and health enthusiasts.
It is not like the other diet strategies, which usually focus on what to eat but aim at what time you should eat. Eating at a specific time each day and fasting at others can highly improve health.
Fasting is the part of the natural world where animals don’t always get food; thus, it helps them to burn the excess fat. Imagine how an obese lion would look in the wild.
However, as humans became advanced and lost touch with nature, diseases like obesity increased in our population.
Intermittent fasting can reestablish that natural diet pattern.
Methods for Intermittent Fasting
The 16/8 method:
It is called the Leangains protocol, which involves avoiding breakfast and daily eating period only to 8 hours and then fasting for nearly 16 hours in between.
This method includes fasting for 24 hours, once or twice every week. It can be done by not eating anything from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
The 5:2 diet:
This method involves consuming only 500–600 calories on two non-repeated days of the week and eating normally for the rest of the days.
In this method, you can fast every other day; for example, if you are eating normally on Monday, do fasting on Tuesday and then again eat normally on Wednesday.
The Warrior Diet
It is one of the most popular diets to include a form of intermittent fasting in which you eat small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the daytime and then eat one large meal at night.
Several studies show that various ways of intermittent fasting can help in reducing weight. However, other healthy diets and restricting daily calorie intake are necessary for effective weight loss.
Due to being focused on when to eat rather than what to eat, it is easy to implement with our current diet plan.
For intermittent fasting, one would not need necessarily any special foods or diverge much from their regular diet.
Intermittent fasting also works well when combined with other physical training activities like Yoga, and it can also be paired with a high protein diet.
Here are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting that have been discovered so far through study.
Thinking And Memory – In animals, intermittent fasting found improving working memory, while in adult humans, it improves verbal memory.
Weight Loss – Without having to intentionally restrict calories, intermittent fasting can help you reduce weight and belly fat.
Heart Health – Fasting for a short period of time improved blood pressure, resting heart rates, and other heart-related parameters.
Intermittent fasting has also shown lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar, and insulin resistance, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Diabetes And Obesity – Intermittent fasting has been shown to prevent obesity in animals and in six small studies, obese human adults lost weight by fasting intermittently.
Physical Performance – Fasting for 16 hours resulted in fat loss while retaining muscular mass in young males. Mice that were fed on different days had superior running endurance.
Different people may experience the effects of intermittent fasting differently. So, it is better to get advice from a doctor or dietician if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after starting intermittent fasting.
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